One of the hardest parts of determining which card to get, is the burden of figuring out ‘which card gives you the most bang for your buck?’ specifically when ‘paying’ with points. This matter is further complicated because each Hotel Line has 1-5 different types of Hotels, and 1-9 different ‘Point Redemption Levels.’ Its hard to do a ‘tit for tat’ comparison unless you have a specific city you want to visit – and even then, they would have to be within the same square mile to be accurate.
As an example, lets use the Hyatt vs Hilton vs IHG for New Orleans. This search was done 5 months out, for a Monday in October. The goal was to get close to the French Quarter without spending a fortune.
The Hilton has a reputation of being a classy hotel, with many locations in all major cities. However, their Room Redemptions are among the highest- with nothing under 50,000 in this case.
Comparatively, IHG had a Holiday Inn for $227 a night or 35,000 with Points, or the Crown Plaza for a staggering $412 a night(!) or … a mere 5,000 more 40K in Points. Their Staybridge Suites also in the French Quarter was only $161 a night, but still 30,000 Points. Not terrible, but not a good value in my opinion.
Now, check out Hyatt:
You’ll notice that the price for each hotel is only 15,000… and yet yet the ‘per night’ room rate is a difference of $83.
One more Trick: SOMETIMES the Chase UltimateRewards Portal can be a huge Value, due to their unique & mysterious pricing algorithm. I was able to get the lesser of the two Hyatts for only 7,299 PER NIGHT! (Equiv to $72) This was ONLY through the Chase UR Portal of course, and a week later the price for this same hotel was 18,510.
So the very same Hyatt Hotel on 601 Loyola could be had for: $187 in cash, 15,000 Hyatt Points, or 7,299 Chase UR Points (fluke)?
Conclusion: Do some research before booking your hotels! There are usually a few different options available, EVEN if you’re paying with Points. The flexibility of the Chase Sapphire Card makes it a must have in situations like this.
If you have a Chase INK or Sapphire Card, always be sure to check the UltimateRewards.com Portal BEFORE Transferring your points to any given hotel. Once in a while it might actually be cheaper to purchase directly through UR.